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2011 Irmscher i SELECTRA

German tuning firm, Irmscher, is coming to the Geneva Motor Show with a peculiar concept car that it’s tagging as the ‘I SELECTRA’. Now if you’re wondering if the concept looks remarkably similar to a Caterham 7 , it’s because it actually is one. Or was one, depending on how you see it.

See, before putting their touches on the concept, the German tuner went out and stripped down a Caterham 7 and then fitted it with its own electric powertrain. We don’t really know whether to be flattered or disappointed on Irmscher’s decision to completely undress a car as iconic as a 7, but that’s an issue for another time.

What we do have is a car that does have the power to make the Caterham 7 proud, especially since it achieves those numbers by using an electric motor, which is always a good thing given the growing paradigm shift towards eco-friendly vehicles.

Details on the Irmscher i SELECTRA after the jump.

Exterior and Interior

Irmscher i SELECTRA

At first glance, the i SELECTRA doesn’t look all that different from the Caterham 7 given that they pretty much share the same design characteristics. Nevertheless, the i SELECTRA does come with an aluminum frame with hydraulic shock absorbers, not to mention some styling differences from the Caterham 7. Among the differences that you’ll probably notice off the bat is that the i SELECTRA is stockier and more compact than the Caterham 7. Whereas the latter can be characterized as a smooth and svelte machine, the former looks like it’s beefier than the original 7. Another thing that’s different between the two is that the i SELECTRA comes with smaller headlights compared to the bulging spotlights fitted on the Caterham 7. Finally, you may also notice the absence of an exhaust system on the i SELECTRA, whereas the Caterham 7’s exhaust is immediately seen on its side.

Performance

Irmscher i SELECTRA

Irmscher’s i SELECTRA is powered by an electric motor rated at 1,000 watts and linked to a lithium-ion phosphate battery pack that can be found under the two-seater sports car’s floor. The resulting output from this powertrain translates to about 238 horsepower and 800 Nm of torque with a driving range of up to 200 km, or about 124 miles.

Pricing

Here’s where it gets a little ridiculous. Irmscher’s i SELECTRA has been priced at 90,000 Euros, or about $124,000 based on current exchange rates. Sure, it’s a powerful electric car for hobbyists and enthusiasts, but spending that much money for this car is ridiculous in our book.

Competition

Irmscher i SELECTRA

Why can a car like this command such an astronomical price tag? Well, the most obvious answer is that it’s purely driven electrically, which means that you won’t have to spend a drop for fuel to make it run. The question now is if you’re willing to spend twice as much for an electric version or settle for a Caterham R500 Superlight for half the price – 45,000 ($68,000) – with a more powerful 2.0-liter Ford Duratec engine that produces 263 horsepower?

If you ask us - and this is no knock on Irmscher – we’re going to choose the R500 for half the price of the i SELECTRA. Sure, we’re giving up on the prospect of driving an electric-powered rocket, but if you think about it, cars like these aren’t the type you use for every day life. At best, these cars are weekend racers on the local track or joyrides on the countryside. So whatever kind of fuel we spend on it is mitigated by the fact that we’re not using it on a daily basis.

But that’s us.

Irmscher i SELECTRA
LOVE IT
  • Electric motor saves the hassle of buying gas
  • Powerful engine
  • Sturdier built than the 7
LEAVE IT
  • No love for the 7
  • Price is way too much
  • Plenty of other options to choose from



13 comments:

I’m impressed with the looks of this, i SELECTRA, and it’s looking great on its body paint, and I am quite wondering if it had some impressive interior either. smiley Anyway, I don’t think that electric motor can give on it a better performance.

I adore companies that are making this kind of car. A race car that has an electric motor for the engine, thus minimizing the fuel consumption. However, the competition will be very tough because there are lots of electric cars nowadays.

Unlike the Caterham, this car is just a concept.. I don’t think that everyone’s like its copy cat styling. I wonder if there is a possible dealer that wants to purchase this vehicle.

Honestly, this car reminds me of Caterham. Admittedly, I’m impressed with the concept of racing-bred road car. I think this vehicle is the solution on fuel crisis. However, too bad that just like green cars this vehicle is quite expensive.

Let’s not forget that this car is just a concept. And I think its so blurry that we can see this one run in the road! However, I want to see a modern detailing of this car.

Well, I don’t think that this car have a good look. Among the Caterham model this one seems to be like a piece of the junk. And I have to agree that its competitor would be better like the KTM or Abarth!

hmm. Who among you guys believe that electric cars are reliable? IMO, I always doubt the reliability of this type. Car manufacturer activates the diesel engine of their car so that it can support that car in case that it loses its power!

Well, Im not totally impressed with electric cars. As a matter of fact, i have learned that this concept activated the diesel engine of the car to help it support the car when it loses its power.

This is one of those cars that still remain attractive no matter how vintage they look. Too bad that it is too pricey compared to others of this kind.

Nice race car. This one is definitely a good ride around the track. However, I would agree that the 7 is still better than this one, mainly because it has cheaper parts.

This one is definitely going to be a good track car. It has quite a set of good features which is suitable for taking a weekend spin. And of course, it woul also make a good city ride.

I think this is an absolutely gorgeous car. Gorgeous. I wonder how it stacks up for the price against the Atom, X-Bow, and other similar cars; and from a performance standpoint.

I’d have to question all the numbers in this article. Seems like 284 hp should do a little
better at propelling a 1600lb car to 60mph, don’t you think?

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